Friday, June 26, 2009

What's in Your House?

One of Gayle's TagTalk greeting cards, made from recycled clothing tags.

Being with a group of artists on Middle Bass Island means a lot of show and tell. It's a chance to share in the enthusiasm of artwork in progress, newly finished works, the bantering about of ideas. It's a lot of fun!

Our hostess, Mary, is working on a bar stool benefit auction to be held on Middle Bass July 25 at her shop, My Aunt Irma's. She had several of the artist-embellished stools in the shop, and another one at her house. Old friend and transplanted weaver Kathie Roig regaled us with the story of the beer bottle cap covered one she brought up to the island from North Carolina. I laughed so hard I forgot to take pictures. She shared that she is about to start a large commissioned piece. Some of her smaller works are online in her etsy shop, KMRhandwoven.

Jan Gibson showed some felted pieces she has been working on, including one of a set of large dolls with handmade ceramic heads. Leslie Organ talked about her success selling Upcycled clothing at a local outdoor market once a month.

Lois Carroll, my energetic artist playmate, showed a funky knitted round handbag made with brightly colored Turkish designs. Because she is not computer savvy, I share my etsy store with her. Lois is known for her wonderful wearable clothing and accessories, many of which are available online under her Glad Rags moniker.

One of Lois' stylish tote bagsKathleen Van Meter showed some of the pieces she had exhibited at this summer's Threads of Inspiration exhibit in Vermilion at the Maritime Museum. I love layers, and Kathleen's work uses them to perfection. Her work is rich and subtle at the same time, layered sometimes with created grids, often with screening material. Her pieces are gentle and beautiful.

June by Kathleen van Meter, installed at the Artist as Quiltmaker XIII, juried by David Walker and curated by Gayle Pritchard.

Oberlin, Ohio artist and owner of Ginko Studio & Gallery, Liz Burgess showed a piece from her recent silkworm collaborations. Over the years, Liz has tried different materials, but this year she mounted casts of her own hands in various positions, indigo dyed. The silkworms were released onto the sculptural forms, fed their requisitie mulberry leaves, and left to spin their silk cocoons. It's worth a trip to the gallery just to see the installations in action. Fascinating!

Photographer Linda Grashoff, one of Ginko's studio artists, is busy working on a manuscript. When she works in fiber, she utilizes her photographs on cloth to present in-depth scientific studies, such as in her river series. Her work has been featured several times in Fiberarts Magazine.

JoAnn Giordano is a well-established and highly regarded artist, who also teaches in the area universities. She brought pictures of her work for this year's Parade the Circle event at the Cleveland Museum of Art. You can see one of her art quilts online at the Olin Art Gallery link for Kenyon College. She and I, along with Susan Shie, Clare Murray and a small group of Ohio artists exhibited there in Innovation and Tradition: Contemporary Art Quilting in Ohio.

Ruta Marino doesn't look like she's obsessed with food, but her longtime series of wall pieces made with "food" fabrics would suggest otherwise! In addition to the Gauguin inspired finished piece, she showed two delightfully fruity Marilyn Monroe pieces inspired by Andy Warhol's graphic work. While clever and amusing, the pieces, to me, are also a smirky commentary on our contemporary culture, and deftly presented.

But, to the heart of the matter, and my original question: What's in your house? Is it full, top to bottom and side to side, inside and outside with artwork? Well, Mary's house was one huge show and tell, from the quirky and elegantly painted bathroom to the upstairs landing. I am showing you just a few examples. The vignettes in her house could fill a book!

A painted hat on the wall serves as a colorful painting.

En route to the fun bathroom was Mary's kitchen art pantry. Instead of spice bottles, cans of soup and the bags of rice and noodles I see in my pantry, Mary's is full of multicolored delights, some functional, some just fun to look at.

Upstairs, a graphic painting of large bathing suits sits on the wall, while a Clown / Circus shelf welcomes visitors.

So I ask you again, what is in your house? Be sure to fill it with your personality, and may your home always be filled with joy. And don't forget the art.

PS: Here is the aforementioned beer bottle cap barstool. Yes, each cap is unique! Thanks for sending this, Kathie.


  1. My house is so filled with EVERYTHING; art, things that are high art, things that might vaguely resemble art, tidbits that make me happy, one of your cards, my own art, quirky little things that defy catagory.....
    The house is definitely *me* and I would like to make it more so as I go along.
    Blank walls are for sissies!!!! ;)

  2. Ha, I agree! No blank walls! Buy more art : )

  3. My house is an old house and has no closets so all my stuff is out for the world to see....and I have lots of stuff including lots of art collected over the years. If I had a bigger house I'd have even more stuff.

  4. Terry, if you had more closets, you'd probably have more stuff : ) So, if all is "out for the world to see," how do you keep it all organized?

  5. i love show and tell! i think that people of every walk of life and profession should have show and tell days with their friends and coworkers. it's a great way to see another part of someone that you might not otherwise... and of course, show and tell is great for showing off art;)

    i LOVE the Liz Burgess piece!!!

  6. Hi Sinker Squid,
    I guess I never thought about what show and tell would be like in other professions! I've seen musicians jam; I guess that's a form of show and tell.
    Hey, you didn't answer the question of the day: What's in Your House?

  7. Nice job, FD. I love you and I love your writing.

  8. So tell, us "anonymous", what's in your house?

  9. Hey Gayle!
    I just emailed you a photo of my barstool!
    It was wonderfult to see long time seems as if I never left and show and tell was great...really got to see what everyone is doing!
    Let's see what's in my house??? a chair decorated by you (remember that? espirit?) some of my weavings, a weaving by si-Yun Chang, pottery, baskets, furniture from local artists...
    you better let me know when you're in Asheville!

  10. Hey! Thanks for the barstool picture! I have edited the blog, and added it at the bottom. I do remember something about the chair, but can't remember what it looks like. You'll have to snap a pic. si-Yun's artwork is lovely. I saw it for the first time at the show in Vermilion.